October 2014

BGF has invested £3.5m growth capital in Moda in Pelle, a designer and retailer of women’s footwear headquartered in Leeds, with nearly 60 stores and concessions across the UK.

Following a successful 12 months and with year-end revenues expected to be close to £20m, Moda in Pelle has extended its management team and will implement a strategy for further growth using BGF’s investment. The new capital will be used to accelerate the roll-out of stores across the UK and internationally, as well as enhance the in-store customer experience and support further development of the company's website and other e-commerce channels. While continuing to focus on quality and affordable luxury, a brand refresh will be unveiled in autumn 2015.

Stephen and Claire Buck – who have been instrumental in growing the business into a national boutique brand of women’s footwear – will remain majority shareholders. Stephen has been at the helm of Moda in Pelle since he founded the company in the mid-1970s with a single store in Leeds.

To implement the growth plan, David Inglis, who has previously advised Moda in Pelle, will join as chief executive and invest alongside BGF. Judith Pilkington – introduced through BGF’s talent network – has also been appointed to the board as non-executive chairman.

David previously held senior roles at Asda and Shop Direct, while Judith is former chief executive of Space NK and has worked at Fenwicks, Selfridges, Harrods and Mappin & Webb.

BGF will take a minority stake and BGF investment director Richard Taylor will join the board as a non-executive director. As part of the investment, the company has also secured an increased working capital facility from Lloyds Bank. The Lloyds team was led by Matt Pollard and Alison Hoyle.

Stephen Buck, founder, Moda in Pelle said:

“Over the past 40 years, we’ve created a tremendous amount of brand capital among a loyal customer base by focusing on quality design and manufacturing. After a particularly strong period of growth, we want to pursue new opportunities to fully exploit the brand’s potential. David has an acute understanding of what we want to achieve, and brings with him energy, determination and strong background in the retail sector. I’m delighted that he will be joining the team.”

David Inglis, chief executive, Moda in Pelle commented:

“We have ambitious goals for Moda in Pelle. Developing our multi-channel offering will be a primary focus over the next 12 months, and we will continue to explore new opportunities with wholesale and internationally.

“The investment from BGF, alongside an increased facility from Lloyds Bank, provides us with the capital to implement our plan. We are excited about the future of the business and recognise that securing the right long-term funding partner is a key step.”

Richard Taylor, investment director, BGF commented:

“We’re backing Moda in Pelle because of the strength and capabilities of its management team and the growth potential of the business. We’ve been impressed by management’s clear strategy for the company, knowledge of the retail sector and understanding of the Moda in Pelle customer.

“Since opening the BGF office in Leeds, we’ve met many diverse businesses with ambitions to grow. Importantly, we only ever take a minority stake which means that the management teams we support – like Moda – are assured that they will keep control of their businesses.”